eProblems

A recent study has found that 30% of e-Commerce initiatives will deliver no value to retailers. The study by Greenlight Commerce shines a spotlight not on the failure of the digital channel itself, but on the ability of those wishing to deliver through this route to implement their initiatives. Typically, in response to the perceived market threat / opportunity, projects were rushed (48%), and success metrics were not properly assessed and measured (87%). Both Amazon and e-Bay launched in 1995. As Warren Buffet once said, ‘You don’t want to give Jeff Bezos a 7-year head start’. However, many retailers have given him a 24-year head start, allowing the likes of Amazon to accrue incredible economies of learning during this period. With the only real retail strategy now being omni-channel (in varying mixes), a failure to implement a successful online channel affects overall business performance and creates a competitive disadvantage. Another study showed that 90% of UK customers now use Amazon, and 25% have an Amazon Prime subscription (not bad for a book seller). In the States, Amazon’s market share of online sales exceeds 50%; whereas for the rest of the world it is just 6%. The question maybe should not be about online vs offline, but more about the increasing prospect for dominance of a couple of global players in this space.